Re: [apps-discuss] DMARC working group charter proposal

Dave Crocker <> Tue, 02 April 2013 01:35 UTC

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From: Dave Crocker <>
Organization: Brandenburg InternetWorking
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Subject: Re: [apps-discuss] DMARC working group charter proposal
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On 4/1/2013 5:37 PM, Peter Saint-Andre wrote:
> FWIW, the original XMPP WG (2002) had the following text in its
> charter regarding backward compatibility with the existing
> implementations and deployments of the Jabber protocols...

There are important phases to the development and deployment of a 
specification.  One of those is the period immediately after release of 
a new specification, as has been done with DMARC.  Existing implementers 
have just made a large investment.  New adopters need to assess whether 
they are going to be safe in implementing the existing spec or whether 
they should wait.

Change the spec in ways that force significant -- or worse, incompatible 
-- software changes too quickly, and the adoption of the technology is 
severely disrupted due to market confusion.  The folks that did the 
X.400 email specs learned this the hard way.  Many others have too.

Hence my point about the recent, extensive deployment of DMARC.

A serious bug is one thing; those need to be fixed.  Stray changes that 
are not essential are quite another; those can be deferred.  Working 
groups often show less concern for the distinction than one would like.

The classic charter language ultimately says that a working group can do 
whatever it wants -- and no matter what 'preferences' are expressed in 
the charter text, the ultimate rule that gets specified is 'the working 
group decides whatever it wants'.  It needs a better anchor.

Hence the current draft requires consulting the installed base.

  Dave Crocker
  Brandenburg InternetWorking